How To Break Up With Fast Fashion?

"It's not me. It's you!"

Breakups are often painful. But it’s sometimes best to let go of the toxicity, not just for the sake of others but also for yourself (and the planet). As new fashion trends emerge, we need to understand what fast fashion brands are and why breaking up with them is the right thing to do! All of us know that buying new clothes from a heap of designs can be tempting. But is it healthy? No. Doesn’t the planet deserve it? Of course! So, here’s why we decided to bid farewell to fast fashion, and maybe you should too.

What is fast fashion?

The Industrial Revolution made clothing production simpler and more affordable, thanks to new sewing machine technology and mass production. But what does fast fashion mean, and how does it differ from sustainable fashion? Fast fashion is the rapidly rising fashion trend of creating, producing, and selling cheap yet trendy clothing at breakneck speed. With an ever-increasing need to keep up with the trends, some fast fashion brands release new collections weekly! Unfortunately, this leads to a toxic relationship between the brand and the planet, resulting in overproduction, unnecessary consumption, and enormous waste. Without a doubt, the fast fashion industry is the second-largest polluter today.

Why do you need to bid farewell to fast fashion?

Despite the temptation of fast fashion brands, the industry is often condemned for its toxic, cheap fabrics, unfair labor practices, negative contribution to landfills, and many other issues. This also includes the toxic microfibers and dyes dispersed into waterways, endangering both land and marine life. While being laundered, these minute bits of non-biodegradable plastic make up 35% of those found in ocean bodies. In addition, fast fashion brands also significantly contribute to releasing carbon emissions, which contribute to global warming.

On the other hand, slow clothing brands use sustainable materials such as organic, recycled, repurposed, and upcycled fabrics. But the prices you see on fast fashion labels are so tempting because they’re designed to create further demand. And this, my dear, is achieved by this toxic partner by underpaying their employees and exploiting them. Most brands in the fast fashion industry outsource their production of goods to manufacturers based in developing countries.

But it doesn’t stop here. Fast fashion’s environmental impact is much talked about, too, for obvious reasons. While the industry promotes a ‘throw-away’ culture, landfills are filled with your once-or-twice-worn garments. These unethical clothes do not age well and are often dumped since the fabrics used are very cheap. Even worse, since they are made of synthetic fabrics, such clothing is not completely recyclable nor biodegradable.

As a result, they end up in landfills for various reasons, which is exactly where sustainable fashion comes to the rescue. So, the next time you think of a breakup, is there a more toxic partner than fast fashion? Here’s how you can do it for your own, and the planet’s, sake.

How to break up with fast fashion?

Since it is a given by now to let go of fast fashion brands entirely, read feeling safe that we’re on this journey with you because we’ve all been there. But note that there are, fortunately, way too many slow fashion brands out there. And while you may have heard some myths about sustainable fashion, identifying one is always simple.

So, are you ready to detoxify your closet and head on to the journey of sustainability with some GoodGuilt? Let’s go.

1. Unfollow fast fashion brands

Well, it may practically mean unfollowing fast fashion brands online; we also mean not buying from such brands at all. Forever 21, Fashion Nova, and Topshop are just a few fast fashion brands you should replace with sustainable ones for your wardrobe. You can also unsubscribe from emailer lists, which may subconsciously tempt you to buy their products.

2. Love what you already own

Fast fashion’s environmental impact is evident from one shirt that uses up to 800 gallons of water and one pair of jeans using up to 2000 gallons of water. So, this may not seem like a break-up thingy, but we suggest you love what you already own. Whether it’s that blouse you’ve never worn for a while or those skirts that deserve to be worn more often, wear it all! We, in fact, believe in using what you have in your closet, over choosing to buy new clothes from any brand (which you’d eventually regret.)

3. Embrace your personal style

You need to stop following those fashion models flaunting various styles on Instagram every day. They’re the biggest victims of the fast fashion industry, and if you’re here, we know you don’t want that for you. So, if you seek to dress like someone else today, the odds are that you’ll want to follow another fashionista tomorrow, which is exactly what the planet doesn’t deserve.

4. Create a capsule wardrobe

Creating a capsule wardrobe is worth considering, as the goal of having one is to have a collection of at least ten practical clothing pieces to build countless outfit ideas. Since the average person only wears 20% of their clothes 80% of the time, you can also start by limiting your purchases. This would further discourage fast fashion brands, resulting in less environmental impact and increased demand for slow fashion brands.

5. Opt for sustainable fabrics

environmental impact of fast fashion
Ethletik.Active / Instagram

When picking a clothing brand, be sure to know the sources of the fabrics, as it takes three years of drinking water to produce a single cotton tee. On the other hand, sustainable brands use eco-friendly materials that follow ethical production practices and ethical working conditions and rules. Sustainable fabrics, including hemp, organic cotton, and modal, are not only good for your skin but also recyclable and biodegradable.

6. Swap your garments or thrift them

If you don’t want to keep your clothes permanently, you can always trade them with your friends or lend them out to your family. When you know you’re getting one-of-a-kind items at the best prices, thrifting can also be a lot of fun. And, like any other event, swapping clothes with your pals can also help you save money and benefit the environment! Since avoiding fast fashion brands is what basically everyone needs to do, you can also refer to these ethical clothing brands that are doing a great job.

Contrary to popular belief, having a sustainable, minimalist, or zero-waste lifestyle is one of the easiest things to do today. Choosing sustainable fashion brands when in need of a new item is one of the easiest ways to break up with fast fashion. And to get over this breakup, stick with slow fashion brands that are doing their bit for the planet by using sustainable fabrics, having safer working conditions, and using ethical production methods.

Even if this breakup may seem tough, it will eventually do you good. And even if it doesn’t, you can sleep well knowing you’ve chosen the best for you and the planet. And with that, we wish these fast fashion brands a final farewell.

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